Putting God in a Box

I was blind and now I can see!   John 9 brings us the story of Jesus healing the blind man.  Let’s step back to this time.  We meet a man that has been blind since birth.  He undoubtedly had heard that Jesus was in the area.  I’m sure he had heard of the miracles of Jesus, saying a word and sick child is well, a word and a lame man walks again,  just a word and a man rises from the dead.  He’s heard the stories of this Jesus and the power of God that he contains.

When Jesus approaches him, his excitement must have risen….”This Jesus will say a word and my blindness will be healed.”  His excitement must have been hard to contain.  But what does he hear?  Jesus talking with his disciples about him.  Then Jesus spits on the ground, makes some mud and rubs the mud in his eyes.  The blind man could have easily said, “Wait a minute….Jesus had healed people with just a word, but all I get is some mud in my face.”   He could have thought, “I got a raw deal, this isn’t going to work.

But no, Jesus tells him to “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam“.  So what does the blind man do?  He goes and washes his face….and what miracle of miracles….he can see!   He could have thought, God works through Jesus by his words….but he didn’t put God in a box.  He believed that he could be healed and he was.

Expect the unexpected

Another step in my process of living with abandon to kick of my year of Thanksgiving, is to try and not put God in a box.   God works in wondrous ways, in ways that bring glory to His name.  He works in ways that we may not expect, but we can take comfort that God’s perfect plan is in motion and His ways are better than ours.  I often pray about a problem and I already have a solution in mind.  “This is the way God should solve my problem.”   We’ve just placed him in a box of our own making.  God can’t be contained.

The Jewish leaders in John 9 questioned the now formerly blind man and his family about his healing.  They had put God in a box and was convinced that God only operated in a certain way.  They said to the man while questioning him.  “Give glory to God by telling the truth, because we know Jesus is a sinner.”  Why did they feel that Jesus was a sinner?  Because their notion was that God didn’t heal in the fashion that Jesus did, or He didn’t heal on the Sabbath, or he didn’t heal someone who had been born blind or any number of stipulations and restrictions that they had put on God’s power to heal.

The blind man had a bigger view of God.  Listen to his words:  “Why that’s very strange!  He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know anything about him!  Well, God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will.  Never since the world began has anyone been able to open the eyes of someone born blind.  If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do it.”  This healed man believed that God could perform a miracle.  He didn’t place God in a box.

Expect the unexpected when praying to God about something.  Expect God to work in ways that are beyond what we can ever imagine and we won’t be disappointed.   Our God is bigger than any box!

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